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Domestic airfares rose 8.4% in 2010

May 4, 2011 | 12:06 pm

Airlines LAX Increased demand for air travel pushed airfares up in 2010 but not enough to surpass prerecession prices, according to federal statistics released Wednesday.

The average domestic airfare -- including one-way and round-trip tickets -- rose 8.4% in 2010 to $337, compared with $310 in the previous year, according to the latest numbers by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The figures were not adjusted for inflation.

Average domestic airfares reached an all-time high of $359 in the three months that ended in September 2008, according to bureau numbers.

Airline industry experts say airline ticket prices have increased because of a combination of factors, including a strengthening economy, a higher demand for air travel and the decision by most major airlines to limit the addition of new planes and routes.

In fact, Delta Air Lines and US Airways, two of the nation's largest airlines, announced last month plans to cut capacity later this year to offset rising fuel costs.

Increasing fuel costs, prompted by tensions in the Middle East and North Africa, have lead the country's five largest airlines to raise ticket prices several times since the start of 2011.

-- Hugo Martin

Photo: Planes prepare to land and depart at Los Angeles International Airport. Credit: Los Angeles Times